The Elbphilharmonie Hamburg reached an important milestone on January 31, 2016, on the path towards world-class acoustics and before the first tones sound in less than a year in the grand, new concert hall. The white skin has been completed as agreed per contract on the revised project. During the building process, the last remaining work on the innovative, 6,000 square metre wall and ceiling cladding was carried out. This applies mainly to installing the organ, which is underway.
Speaking during a tour with reporters, Prof. Barbara Kisseler, Senator for Culture, said. “Reaching this last intermediate deadline before the opening on January 11-12, 2017 means we are now fully on schedule.” This is the result of excellent co-operation between all those involved in the project since it was fully revised around three years ago. She added: “Even if we can enjoy world-class sound in the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg in less than a year, the architectural jewel that the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg will become, is already emerging.”
White skin for melodious sounds
Jacques Herzog, of the Swiss architecture firm, Herzog & de Neuron that designed the Elbphilharmonie, said: “The distribution of sound in the concert hall is crucial to the quality of the acoustics. To this end, the geometry of the hall, the materials used and the surface structure have to match each other perfectly.” The special structure and the fluent transition between walls and ceiling give the concert hall something natural. The surface structure was developed by Herzog & de Neuron after conducting intense research into the material and doing several form studies and patterns, in close collaboration with the Japanese acoustician, Yasuhisa Toyota of Nagata Acoustics, and implemented by Hochtief. The white skin is one of many innovations and complex developments in the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg.
10, 000 boards of plaster and paper
Installing the white skin proved a great challenge for engineers and craftspeople, according to Beate Cornils, Project Manager Hochtief. She noted: “None of the approximately 10,000 boards of plaster and paper are identical, and they weigh on average 70 kilograms each. A space had to be found in the complex substructure for each one to create the impressive entirety. Work has already begun on installing the organ and we are thus making great strides towards completing the Elbphilharmione.”
The vineyard principle in the grand hall creates a special closeness between audience and artists. A maximum distance of 30 metres between the conductor and the audience in the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg will bring music closer than in any other concert hall worldwide.
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